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Pearse Doherty TD raises future of Ulster Bank with Tánaiste in the Dáil

18 February, 2021 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has today raised the future of Ulster Bank with the Tánaiste in the Dáil.

It has been reported that NatWest will tomorrow announce Ulster Bank’s withdrawal from the market after more than 160 years.

The Donegal TD called on the Government to use its influence in pillar banks and Permanent TSB to minimise the damage and provide security to mortgage holders, businesses and customers, if the worst comes to pass.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Tomorrow NatWest will announce the future of Ulster Bank in this State.

“It has been widely reported that Ulster Bank is set to leave the market after more than 160 years.

“This is a hammer blow for workers, communities, mortgage holders and small businesses.

"Ulster Bank plays a key role in our communities, providing jobs to 2,400 people across the State, with 88 branches and over 1 million customers. This includes the five branches in my own county of Donegal.

"It is a major player in our banking sector, responsible for 20 percent of SME lending, with a 15 percent share in the mortgage market.

"In December 2020, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank warned me that the withdrawal of Ulster Bank could lead to higher interest rates and weaker credit availability.

"That is the reality before us.

“There has been speculation for months now that Cerberus, one of the most aggressive vulture funds in the State, is circling Ulster Bank’s entire €20.5 billion loan book.

“Such a sale must be avoided at all costs.

"As I said to the Tánaiste, given the gravity of tomorrow’s outcome, the Government has a responsibility to act.

“That includes creating a third force to challenge what could otherwise become a duopoly in our banking sector.

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